Trick or Treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat. If you don’t, I don’t care. I’ll pull down your underwear. Huh. The times they are a changin’. Not sure they’re still teaching kids songs that embrace foot fetishes, bad manners, apathy, and sexual assault this Halloween. It’s surprising Halloween still exists at all. Every day our society obsesses more and more about eating healthy, yet there is a holiday still on the schedule dedicated to eating candy? But if I’ve learned anything, Reese cups and sour patch kids won’t kill you, but be wary of that deadly bread; the ominous gluten is lurking behind every corner. I don’t know if people even give out candy anymore, it’s probably organic, vegan, nut and kale bars, drizzled with dark chocolate. No thanks mom, I’d rather stay home and eat extra broccoli with dinner. I can only imagine the joy that the Paleo households will be bringing to kids this Friday.
Parents really never wanted kids eating too much candy anyway, believing that they would need braces or something ridiculous. Of course you shouldn’t expect anything better from a society where ¾ of its children are given braces. You know because if only 25% of peoples’ teeth are perfect, the vast majority should want to fit in with them? Wait, that doesn’t make sense. Yes it does, fuck variation. But I digress. Whether you’re afraid that your kids are going to need a visit to the orthodontist or the nutritionist, they’re just secondary fears to the greatest fear about Halloween. Zombies. Ebola-carrying, undead ISIS members running around chasing your children?! Well, close. It’s the other fear that the news crams down peoples’ throats everyday: abduction. The myth of the razor blade in the Halloween treat has been replaced by the disturbed neighbor that is going to run away with your child and chop them up into a million pieces. Everyone you live near that you don’t know (which is pretty much everyone thanks to the internet, the destruction of US communities, the mobility of US populations, and Netflix) is a murderer, a rapist, or at least someone who is going to stare at your kids in that spandex superhero costume too long. Seriously parents, don’t bother taking your kids out trick-or-treating, just stay inside and marathon 5 hours of Law & Order: Special Fear-Mongering Unit and let those ideas circulate in your brain some more. It’s Halloween, you’re supposed to be scared about things you don’t need to be. Embrace it. Doesn’t it feel good?
Of course it’s easy for me to say. I’m not a parent. Strange how that works though: you don’t even need to follow politics let alone be a politician to voice out your opinions on gun control, taxes, foreign policy, or important things like increasing the deposits on recyclable bottles. ( Sorry Massachusetts, I just don’t give a shit.) You don’t have to be a professional athlete or even someone that gets off their couch regularly to criticize athletes. What was the last movie you directed? Weird, you haven’t tackled that yet but you know how Guardians of the Galaxy could have been better. If only you had that funding. Doctors! They go to medical school for way longer than most of us go to school for anything. And they can’t even drink 50-90% of the time they were supposed to be studying. But we certainly don’t trust everything that they say, and we don’t need to have passed the Medical Boards to criticize their treatments all the fucking time. But if you’re not a parent… slow down there cowboy, you have no right to voice your opinion or pass judgment. How could I possibly know when it’s wrong to overprotect your kid? Or to beat them. Adrian Peterson is a parent, certainly his opinion is more valid right?
But I’m not a parent. I don’t want to be a parent. At least right now. But with Halloween, like increasingly more things as I get older, I find myself in that inconvenient age gap. I’m not a kid, but I’m not a real adult either. And while nearing age 30 makes it seem like I should be closer to one side than the other it’s not the simple. Yes, it’s been a long time since I was pounding Milky Ways out of a plastic jack-o-lantern. But I’m not that far removed from pounding beers out of that large silver container with the tap. But it is over, no more candy binges, no more wild parties. I’ve accepted it. I think. I know that I’m too old to go door to door and chase the neighborhood cats around with silly string. And I’m pretty sure that I’m also too old to old to get hammered and chase around the girl in her underwear and cat ears too. Personally I‘d rather go out drinking without getting skewered by my girlfriend for giving the drunk stare to her girlfriend in the slutty nurse outfit. Honestly I’d rather stay in and drink. What beer goes with candy? Whatever makes you the fattest. Crap, I can’t die this young, I’m done with the adult version of Halloween.
But I’m not ready to walk around with a large-headed, diaper toting, 15lb pumpkin sharing my DNA either. I’m in the fucking Halloween gap. Again I’ll reference the timeless words of Ms. Spears. I’m not a girl, not yet a women. Not at the point to share this unhealthy, possibly dangerous (but probably not) experience with the next generation. I mean, if you are that’s fine. Halloween should be great; you know if it wasn’t for the parents, the cops, the aggressive news media, the costs of costumes, the cost of braces, the sugar headaches, the hangovers, the kids, the awful horror movie remakes, people bringing their kids to work, the health-freak guilt-trips, actual kidnappers, and candy corn.
Someday I’ll trick myself into cutting open a pumpkin again and pretend I’m mature enough to not be thinking “icky” the whole time I’m handling the guts. Someday I’ll dress up in something horribly embarrassing just to see the genuine smiles on my kids’ faces, as opposed to my forced smile I’ll be sporting when small- talking with the other real adults. And eventually some day I’ll vomit proudly when seeing what my daughter is wearing at her college Halloween party on whatever replaces Facebook and Instagram to allow people to spy on their kids’ pictures. But for now, I’m not going to force it. You won’t find me at the pong table trying not to look at your Strawberry Shortcake themed cleavage. And you won’t find me trying to lure your children away with candy (or kale). I’m in the Halloween gap and I’m taking this year off. Hallelujah.